In this paper, I aim to reconstruct the life of Ornamental Comb, with emphasis on its materiality. I argue that the centerpiece of ancient glass, framed in Art Nouveau ornamentation, transforms into a modern jewel in accordance with avant-garde notions of looking to the past to create something new. Finally, I will contend that decorative art objects, like the CMA’s Ornamental Comb, disrupt the perceived hierarchy between what is deemed “high” and “low” art at the fin-de-siècle.
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